The Ache Of Lost Dental Care In Nc | Ned Barnett |
The Oral Health Section will focus on the states poorer counties, limiting its coverage to 65 counties. Some counties with higher median incomes but large pockets of poor children have lost all school dental exams. For a savings of $850,000 the state is sharply curtailing oral health exams that spared thousands of children serious dental problems and saved the state Medicaid program money by heading off emergency medical care for the indigent. The American Dental Association reported last week that emergency room visits for dental problems cost nearly $3 billion from 2008 through 2010, and most [ dental hygiene] of those seeking care were low-income and without insurance. High cost of cuts Dr. Jane Weintraub, dean of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, said cutting the budget for statewide exams of childrens teeth is a costly mistake. Its not going to be savings because these kids are going to end up needing much more dental care, she said. Theyll end up in the emergency room where the problem wont be solved, or theyll end up in the operating room. The savings are incredibly short-sighted. After Kings experience, the states remaining dental hygienists know that speaking out about the programs reductions is a risk. But retired hygienists would discuss what has been lost. Carol Foster of Yanceyville retired as a public health dental hygienist in 2007 after 35 years with the state.
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